Badrinath is in the heart of pilgrimage country and the landscape is dotted with holy sites that you can visit when you go on a Yatra to this temple.
Govindghat and Valley of Flowers
Govindghat is the starting point of the trek to Hemkund Sahib and the Valley of Flowers. Do not miss this on any account as the Valley of Flowers is simply heaven.
Hemkund Sahib and Lokpal Temple
These places are also worth a visit. Hemkund is at a height of 4320 metres and the site of one of the finest Gurudwaras visited by Sikhs and Hindus. It sits next to a Lake where you will also find a temple dedicated to Laxman, brother of Lord Rama.
About 4 km from Govind ghat you will come upon this temple said to have been built by Pandu, father of Pandavas. The site has one temple dedicated to Badrinarayan and the other is for Lord Vasudeva, an incarnation of Vishnu. The Vasudev Temple becomes the winter abode of Badrinarayan.
Joshimath is a larger town and the winter home of Lord Badrinath. This is where Adi Shankaracharya gained enlightenment and it is also the starting point for the ropeway ride to Auli, the longest in Asia.
Auli is a beautiful winter resort famed for its ski slopes. It is about 16 km from Joshimath by road but a shorter distance when you use the ropeway. The scenery is simply enchanting.
Brahma Kapal alongside the holy Alaknanda river is where rites are performed for the peace of soul of departed ancestors. Many pilgrims choose to perform these ceremonies.
Nilkanth mountain peak is not far from Badrinath if you can undertake the tough trek of 6 kilometers. From a distance the peak resembles Lord Shiva sitting in meditation.
Before gaining entry into the Badrinath temple it is important to take a dip in the Tapta kund. This is a type of naturally hot water pool which is fed by numerous sulphur springs which are believed to be the birthplace of the God of fire; Agni. A dip in the Tapta Kund is said to get rid of several skin ailments.
Narada Kund is situated near the Tapta Kund and it is the place where a huge idol of Vishnu was recovered by Adi Sankara. There are springs of hot water which splurge out from beneath the Garur Shila and then fall into a big tank. Badrinath Darshan is said to gain auspiciousness after a dip in this tank. The Narada Kund is supposed to possess many types of medicinal properties.
Vasudhara Falls are situated 3 km away from the Mana village and it is one of the main tourist attractions. The waters of the fall flow down from the staggering height of 400 feet. Legends say that the waters of the fall turn away from devotees who are impure from their heart. The triple majestic peaks of Satopanth, Balkum and Chaukhamba are nearby.
A very high altitude lake that can be reached after an easy trek of 8 km which ascends to 14200 feet. There are several attractions like Ganesh Gufa, Vyas Gufa, Vasudhara Falls and Bhim Pul which are nearby. These destinations are also mentioned in Hindu mythology and religious texts.
The area which the famous Hindu God Shiva chose for performing Tapasya. However Vishnu who was very fond of the place took on the incarnation of a little crying child who would not stop his tears. In the end Shiva was forced to shift to Kedarnath.
The temple Urvashi was the loveliest of all Celestial nymphs created as she was out of the thigh of Indra. Urvashi was sent to distract the twin sages Nar and Narayan who performed penance near Badravishal. Urvashi made her appearance in a small pond near Charanpaduka and shattered his pride. There is a lovely temple on the outskirts of the Bamni village which is dedicated to this beautiful nymph.
This is a huge rock that acts a huge bridge across the river of Saraswati. This river flows with force between the twin mountains and joins the river of Alaknanda. Mahabali Bheem who was one of the five Pandav brothers threw a huge rock to make a path which joined the two mountains.
Sheshnetra is a boulder having the impression of the famous snake Sheshnaag with the renowned deadly eye. On the opposite bank of Alaknanda river in the lap of Parvat Nar there are two pretty makes. Between these lakes is a huge boulder with the impression of Sheshnag.
The panch dharas i.e. the Prahlad, Indira Dhara, Kurma, Urvashi and Bhrigu are famous in Badrapuri. There are 5 blocks of great importance known as Narsimha, Narad, Garur, Markendya Shila etc which have a lot of importance in mythology.
You can also plan a round trip to the different prayags i.e the Devprayag, Nandaprayag, Vishnuprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag from Badrinath. Mana village that is the last inhabited place in India is also nearby.